A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP
Too Slow and Uninspiring
Starring: Sun Honglei, Xiao Shenyang,
Yan Ni, Ni Dahong, Cheng Ye,
Mao Mao, and Zhao Benshan
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 95 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Zhang Yimou
Executive Producer: Zhang Zhenyan
Producer: Zhang Weiping, Bill Kong and
Writer: Xu Zhengchao and Shi Jianquan
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
The story opens in the desert noodle shop run by the miserly Wang, whose young wife is cheating on Wang with Wang’s young employee, Li. Li keeps the gun that the wife bought from a Persian merchant for “killing her husband later.”
Wang, who knows about the affair, decides to bribe a local policeman, Zhang, to kill the illicit couple. Zhang, however, has other plans involving all the money Wang keeps in his safe. Meanwhile, two of Wang’s other employees plot to get the wages that Wang has deliberately delayed paying them.
Like the Coen brothers are wont to do in their film noirs, director Zhang Yimou loads his remake with tons of irony. The camera work, editing and narrative are very slow, however, so this time out, the movie fails to rivet one’s attention. Also, the script’s ironic outcomes leave viewers with a humanist worldview lacking redemptive power, even if the story were constructed as a tragedy like Akira Kurosawa’s RAN or Zhang’s own CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, which this film clearly is not.
Like the Coen brothers are wont to do, director Zhang Yimou loads this remake with tons of irony. The shooting style, editing and narrative are very slow, so this time out, the movie fails to rivet one’s attention. Also, the script’s ironic outcomes leave viewers with a numbing humanist worldview lacking redemptive power. The movie also has strong violence and brief foul language.